Onward and Upward

So I’ve covered the Sprint GT’s first service over on its own blog – I just need to start giving it the berries a bit more (although its trip computer must be over-reading…).

I also received a letter about my stepmother’s estate which was a piece of pleasant news and well timed, given I’m planning to buy a house or maybe even my apartment which may soon be up for sale.

Due to a change of plans, I had Saturday free so I decided to get the pushbike out to go for a little spin: maybe 5 or 6 miles on the advice of my Consultant Knee Surgeon and my physiotherapist at the excellent London Bridge Hospital. 11.4 miles later and I’d had a great time, keeping the cadence up and not putting too much effort through the knee. Same thing next week, I think.

GT popped over in the evening, meeting me for dinner at the O2 where we were then due to see Iron Maiden play. An excellent gig! Then over to Waterloo to say goodnight and back home to the apartment.

Up at a reasonable time on Sunday to head up to Norfolk for lunch with the ‘kids’ which was made more difficult by the completely inept road closure arrangements for the Prudential Ride London: every main road out of London to the East was closed despite the official sites claiming they’d be open earlier.

Monday saw more check-ups and blood tests – all fine – and a nice, long phone call as arranged the week before from Humberside Police to explain, as expected and agreed, that they wouldn’t be pressing charges against the psycho ex for her theft and disposal of some of my stuff (“intention to permanently deprive”), but only because it wouldn’t be in the public interest to waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution: there was the passage of time caused by them, sadly, which they accepted was the case and they knew she would never admit guilt – she never does – and accept a caution, so the options were a full trial or nothing and the thefts were, as I told them, insignificant (I’ve long since replaced the stolen goods with better quality, newer things … a bit like I did with her, I suppose). They suggested I start a private prosecution, which is always an option, but I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on her.

But the good news is that they’ve now got the proof of what she’s really like: a liar and a thief. So that’s the end of that: maybe she’ll stop stalking me one day too?

So it’s onward and upward!

The Trouble with Traffic Planning…

…is that it’s an oxymoron, much like the old joke about “Military Intelligence”.

Transport for London, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to fix a problem that it thinks might exist (see the quote below) in the Rotherhithe Tunnel by adding more solid bollards to restrict the width of the approaches to the tunnel down to 6′ 6″, i.e. tighter than a gnat’s chuff.

What this means is that on the approaches to the tunnel, both northbound and southbound, traffic – understandably – slows to a snail’s pace at best to negotiate the width restrictions and this leads to long, long queues of traffic and not just at peak times.

The justification?

“The narrowing of the width restrictions on both northbound and southbound approaches to the tunnel will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle collisions, spillage of flammable materials, and fires in the tunnel.”

So a complete lack of a quantitative analysis or justification. Are they saying that narrower vehicles don’t crash or spill flammable materials or catch fire? Evidence?

No.

And what is to become of the vehicles that cannot enter the Rotherhithe Tunnel? Well they are required to use either Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are well-known for traffic queues, so they’re just creating more travel problems or adding to the severity of existing ones.

Utter fuckwittery!

Still, I suppose they need to justify their fake jobs by coming up with these ludicrous schemes…

I’ve written to TfL to ask them about this issue, copied to my MP, so we’ll see what, if anything, they have to say.

Norfolk Traffic Police

Thank you very much indeed, Norfolk Constabulary. Thank you for costing my company a day’s lost fees. Thank you for wasting £60 of my money for the hotel room I’m in now. Thank you for doing absolutely sod-all to help the hundreds of motorists your incompetence incovenienced.

What am I talking about?

Today I had a dental appointment in Wymondham at 11.15am, so I left London in plenty of time. By 10.50am, I was 20 minutes away (maximum) on the dual carriageway section of the A11 Thetford By-Pass between the Brandon and Watton interchanges when I had to come to a halt. Why? Some dickhead driving a tractor and towing a trailer of vegetables had managed to turn the whole thing over and blocked the southbound carriageway. Remember, I was heading northbound.

Like a well-oiled team of professionals, the police’s traffic division and the Transport Agency’s Incident Support Unit had mobilised to get things sorted out.

Between then and 11.45am, I sat in stationary traffic and watched as most of the police vehicles drove off having done … er … nothing at all. One police motorcycle went down the southbound carriageway, around the roundabout and then back up the southbound carriageway the wrong way for no good reason at all. Maybe he was getting a bit warm in the summer sun and just fancied going for a spin to cool himself down. Bless!

Traffic announcements confirmed that the southbound carriageway was blocked and that there were long southbound queues. Apparently the traffic going north was slow as people were slowing down to take a look, according to the AA team.

Obviously that was as far removed from reality as the Labour Party are from unity. As I discovered when I did eventually get past the next roundabout, the southbound lane was actually flowing pretty well. And no-one was rubbernecking in my lane – we simply couldn’t get past the roundabout because of the southbound traffic effectively turning it into a lane of southbound traffic.

In the olden days, a policeman or policemen would stand there directing traffic like human traffic lights to ensure that traffic flowed as freely as possible every way, but instead this bunch of lazy idiots just wanted to sit around with their thumbs up their arses doing absolutely sod-all.

And as a result, all the northbound traffic had been at a standstill for almost an hour.

So I missed my appointment thanks to their complete lack of any positive action. Well done you! It’s really no surprise I have absolutely zero respect for them. They always set low standards and consistently fail to achieve them in my mind.

I won’t even start to go on about how South Blunderside Humberside Police have failed to take any real action against a harassing, violent and abusive drunkard (with overtones of child abuse)…

And thanks to the AA’s radio traffic reporters for rubbing it in by reporting absolute crap and insulting those of us who were stuck in the jams the police had caused.